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Missing paperwork may erase student debt for tens of thousands
20 July 2017, 12:51 | Maryann Sutton
Private student loan debts are being erased because of incomplete and missing paperwork
Judges throughout the US, including recent cases in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Texas, have thrown out lawsuits by National Collegiate because the trusts could not prove they owned the debt they were trying to collect. Over 44 million Americans hold a total of $1.4 trillion in student loan debt - the $12 billion that belongs to National Collegiate is just a smallpercentage. The loans were originally sold by banks and then purchased by National Collegiate, though ownership records were lost in the process. He is Donald Uderitz, the founder of Vantage Capital Group, a private equity firm in Delray Beach, Fla., that is the beneficial owner of National Collegiate's trusts.
According to a new report by the New York Times, thousands of student loan recipients may be off the hook when it comes to paying back their debts, thanks to some critical missing paperwork on the part of the lenders. An audit from 2015 showed that about 400 randomly-checked loans did not have the proper paperwork.
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Others are left with debt for degrees they never completed, because the for-profit colleges they enrolled in closed amid allegations of fraud. They aggressively hound student borrowers who fall behind on their bills and have brought tens of thousands of lawsuits against defaulters in the past five years. The Times also notes that for the cases National Collegiate has been able to win, the mitigating factor is borrowers not even knowing the cases have gone to court and/or not showing up to defend themselves. But some cases that are being fought by lawyers have revealed the problems. Most borrowers who are sued either default or reach settlements. And in legal filings, it is usually a Transworld representative who swears to the accuracy of the records backing up the loan.
Transworld did not respond to a request for comment by DealBook.
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